Transactional Analysis - Games People Play

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Transactional Analysis - Games People Play

#1  Postby kennyc » Oct 30, 2014 9:32 pm

Anyone up for a discussion of Transactional Analysis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transactional_analysis ?

It came up in a discussion of work interactions and made me think of the book I read ages ago when I was a psychology major - Games People Playby Eric Berne

I've probably forgotten everything I know, but wondering if TA is still a valid field or if it has been replaced by something else.
If memory serves me right the book was quite an eye opener with regard to interpersonal relationships in all types of situations, work, home, shopping. I would also think it would apply to contexts such as this (and other) online forums, email, twitter, etc.

Any thoughts or discussion?
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Re: Transactional Analysis - Games People Play

#2  Postby chairman bill » Oct 30, 2014 9:35 pm

I still make use of it in all sorts of ways, so yes, I'm up for discussion on the topic
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Re: Transactional Analysis - Games People Play

#3  Postby kennyc » Oct 30, 2014 9:40 pm

So help me trigger some memories. I may re-read the book...

What kinds of things do you apply it to?
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Re: Transactional Analysis - Games People Play

#4  Postby chairman bill » Oct 30, 2014 9:54 pm

Well for example, I do some teaching around management & leadership, and incorporate TA with issues of assertiveness/aggression/non-assertiveness, management styles, communication in organisations, and that sort of thing. For instance, you can go some way to linking the adult ego state with assertive behaviour, and parent & child states with aggressive & non-assertive behaviours.
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Re: Transactional Analysis - Games People Play

#5  Postby kennyc » Oct 30, 2014 9:58 pm

I was just reading on Wiki, trying to refresh/learn, they have some examples of Parent/child kinds of interactions in the workplace.

Kinds of transactions[edit]
There are basically three kinds of transactions:

Reciprocal/Complementary (the simplest)
Crossed
Ulterior – Duplex/Angular (the most complex)
Reciprocal or complementary transactions[edit]
A simple, reciprocal transaction occurs when both partners are addressing the ego state the other is in. These are also called complementary transactions. Example 1:

A: "Have you written the report?" (Adult to Adult)
B: "Yes - I'm about to email it to you." (Adult to Adult)
Example 2:

A: "Would you like to skip this meeting and go watch a film with me instead?" (Child to Child)
B: "I'd love to - I don't want to work anymore, what should we go and see?" (Child to Child)
Example 3:

A: "You should have your room tidy by now!" (Parent to Child)
B: "Will you stop hassling me? I'll do it eventually!" (Child to Parent).
Communication like this can continue indefinitely. (Clearly it will stop at some stage - but this psychologically balanced exchange of strokes can continue for some time).

Crossed transactions[edit]
Communication failures are typically caused by a 'crossed transaction' where partners address ego states other than that their partner is in. Consider the above examples jumbled up a bit.

Example 1a:

A: "Have you written that report?" (Adult to Adult)
B: "Will you stop hassling me? I'll do it eventually!" (Child to Parent)
This is a crossed transaction likely to produce problems in the workplace. A may respond with a Parent to Child transaction. For instance:

A: "If you don't change your attitude, you'll get fired."
Example 2a:

A: "Is your room tidy yet?" (Parent to Child)
B: "I'm just going to do it, actually." (Adult to Adult)
This is a more positive crossed transaction. There is however the risk that A will feel aggrieved that B is acting responsibly and not playing their role, and the conversation will develop into:

A: "I can never trust you to do things!" (Parent to Child)
B: "Why don't you believe anything I say?" (Child to Parent)
... which can continue indefinitely.


So many times I've seen experienced things like that at work....
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Re: Transactional Analysis - Games People Play

#6  Postby chairman bill » Oct 30, 2014 10:09 pm

Yep. And do you know what is pretty devastating? Having become exasperated by child & parent interactions in a meeting, to call a halt & then label people's behaviour, "When you said X to Susan, you were clearly in a admonishing parental ego-state, trying to hook her adaptive child. By that I mean <snip explanation>. Maybe you should try adult to adult communications in future, and maybe we'll actually get somewhere instead of wasting our time."

Sometimes, wresting away the parental role can be quite satisfying :-)
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Re: Transactional Analysis - Games People Play

#7  Postby kennyc » Oct 30, 2014 10:14 pm

I think that in the workplace and in non-family social settings there is a ton of baggage everyone carries from family settings and those in the workplace that understand this and are able to use/manipulate it would be at a distinct advantage.
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Re: Transactional Analysis - Games People Play

#8  Postby Fallible » Oct 30, 2014 11:36 pm

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Re: Transactional Analysis - Games People Play

#9  Postby epepke » Oct 30, 2014 11:42 pm

TA in general is pretty much crap, because it the outdated pseudo-Freudian concept of an ego state.

Other than that, Games People Play is excellent and is quite consistent with modern Cognitive Science. Just add some framing, metaphorical thought, and a big slab of Hebbian learning, and you got yourself a tool.
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Re: Transactional Analysis - Games People Play

#10  Postby kennyc » Oct 30, 2014 11:48 pm

But according to my recent reading at the wiki link TA was a rejection of freuds id ego superego.
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Re: Transactional Analysis - Games People Play

#11  Postby epepke » Oct 31, 2014 12:05 am

That's why it's pseudo-Freudian. It's still, to paraphrase the old Certs commercial, three (click) three (click) three brains in one! People like the number three, for some reason.

Actually, ego and id were probably too quickly discarded. Something like that is going on with the neocortex versus the rest, but also, even in the neocortex, between processes at different levels of organization. Superego doesn't glom onto much, though.
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Re: Transactional Analysis - Games People Play

#12  Postby Willie71 » Nov 10, 2014 6:15 pm

I think neuro-linguistics have superceded TA. I have used some TA in my work with families, primarily Karpman's Triangle, but that also has its roots in Bowenian Family Therapy. Its a bit blurred. Derren Brown uses a lot of neurolinguistic principles in his "mind control/reading" trickery. He's much more suggesting what people are thinking rather than reading minds.
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Re: Transactional Analysis - Games People Play

#13  Postby kennyc » Nov 10, 2014 6:22 pm

Willie71 wrote:I think neuro-linguistics have superceded TA. I have used some TA in my work with families, primarily Karpman's Triangle, but that also has its roots in Bowenian Family Therapy. Its a bit blurred. Derren Brown uses a lot of neurolinguistic principles in his "mind control/reading" trickery. He's much more suggesting what people are thinking rather than reading minds.


Thanks! :thumbup:
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